“Social work chose me… I grew up with many different life experiences with different people from different worlds. Because of how I have been treated, I chose to turn that experience into something positive. I came to the United States (U.S.) as a refugee. When I arrived in the U.S., I felt lost – I didn’t speak English and everyone looked down on me. I had no idea what pizza, snow or winter was. I was just in shock for a couple months. I struggled in high school and I remember my English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher telling me I don’t belong to that school and I will never make it. Since then, I have worked twice as hard to prove her wrong…" said Peace Izabayo, a Chamberlain University Master of Social Work (MSW) program student.
"Coming to the U.S. – dealing with language, culture, ignorance and racism barriers – turned me into a voice for refugees. People know I am not afraid of anyone or to call people out on what they are doing wrong. I have been a voice for refugee students who are suffering in the public-school system. I have provided trainings to teachers, administrations and mental-health staffs on how to educate refugees students and how to deal with them when they arrive in the U.S. … In the future, I want to become the best social worker I can – taking action, not just saying the words. I want to make a change because I have a voice, and I intend to do that for the rest of my life."
A former social work-refugee student counselor and parent-engagement coordinator, Peace said giving back is her lifelong mission. She Steps Forward by talking with new refugee students, training ESL teachers on how to educate refugee students and providing families with advice on raising refugee children in the U.S.
Peace’s long-term plans include becoming a game-changer with immigration and refugee laws. “An MSW is the key to the future. It will help me become more respected. People will listen and I will be able to make a change in people’s lives. I wouldn’t be where I am if it wasn’t for a social worker.”
Chamberlain's MSW Program
One year ago, Chamberlain University launched its MSW program within the College of Health Professions, debuting the first round of classes in September 2019. The degree program offers two tracks – traditional and advanced standing – and prepares students for both generalist and specialized practice. Highlights of the program include:
- Small class sizes to foster faculty-student relationships
- Online coursework available 24/7
- Opportunity to complete in as few as one to two years, depending on prior preparation
- Engagement through video, podcast, case studies and simulations taught by expert faculty
- Nurturing faculty who understand it takes a special person to pursue a career in the social-work field
- Customized fieldwork practicum opportunities based on interests and goals
- Specializations in:
- Military Social Work
- Substance Use and Addictions
- Medical Social Work
- Crisis and Response Interventions
The MSW program is led by a diverse group of colleagues who serve as thought leaders and experts in the social-work field including Stacey Borasky Ferguson, EdD, MSW, dean; Amanda Morgan-Henry, MSW, LCSW-C, director; Linda Quast, MS, MBA, PMP, faculty manager; and Oren Shtayermman, PhD, MSW, professor.
By Heather L Hurtado
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